The Importance Of Social Workers In An Hospital (A Case Study Of Psychiatric Hospital, Uselu, Benin City)

Psychiatric Hospital
Psychiatric Hospital
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This research work was conducted precisely to find out the need for the awareness and relevance of medical social worker in the hospital.  The main instrument that was used in this study was the questionnaire which was designed in a way that will enable the researcher to have strong evidence about the importance of social worker in the hospital, particularly in the Psychiatric Hospital, Uselu, Benin City.  It was also aimed at identifying the various important roles social workers play in the rehabilitation of patient in the hospital.  At the end of the work, useful recommendations were made; some of which are government should encourage all social workers by way of providing them with in-service training.  Enhance remuneration and regular elevation in their places of work as they are made to face the challenges of societal problems everyday.


Title page                                                                                         i

Certification                                                                                    ii

Dedication                                                                                       iii

Acknowledgement                                                                         iv

Abstact                                                                                             vii

Table of Contents                                                                            viii


  • Background of the Study 1

1.1     Statement of the Problem                                                     5

1.2     Objective of the Study                                                           6

1.3     Scope of Study                                                                       7

1.4     Significance of Study                                                            8

1.5     Definition of Terms                                                               8


2.0     Psychiatry Social Work                                                                  12

2.1     Rehabilitation                                                                        17

2.2     Social Welfare services to Patient and Relatives                18

2.3     Patient Employer Consulting Services                                19

2.4     The Doctor Patient Relationship                                          20

2.5     Admission Problems, such as Non-compliance with

Treatment                                                                              24

2.6     Case Conference                                                                    29


3.0     Research Methodology                                                                   38

3.1     Population of Study                                                              39

3.2     Sample Size                                                                           39

3.3     Method of Data Collection                                                   39

3.4     Method of Data Analysis                                                     40


4.0     Data Analysis                                                                        41

4.1     Discussing the Result                                                            42




5.0     Summary                                                                               58

5.1     Conclusion                                                                                       59

5.2     Recommendations                                                                 61

References                                                                                        63

Appendix                                                                                         65





There are many notions of what the role of a social worker should be; we identify the more prevalent of them.  They are not presented in terms of any historical or chronological continuity but – to assist this brief analysis – almost as ideal type Francozo and Cassorla (2004).  They are readily identified in the literature about social work.  They are also inextricably associated with the value and principle seen to underpin social work in general.

Social workers in hospital necessary work alongside other health care professionals and other relevant health care profession and the perspectives on social work held by doctors and senior nurses are relevant both to their relationship with social workers and to the smooth running of the hospital (Kearney, and Skehill, 2005).  The nurses and doctors roles rated the quality of social work practice predominantly by the extent to which the social worker was seen to identify unambiguously with the hospital and its ethos: but they also set great store by the presence and easy accessibility of a social worker, and they preferred regular contact with the same person (Popple, Philip N, 2008).  They saw the social worker as a lay agent within the health care framework, and acknowledge that the social care role and the social worker’s link with the community were crucial component of a good hospital practice.

Medical social work is a sub-discipline of social work, also known as hospital social work. Medical social workers typically work in a hospital, skilled nursing facility or hospice, have a graduate degree in the field, and work with patients and their families in need of psychosocial help. Medical social workers assess the psychosocial functioning of patients and families and intervene as necessary. Interventions may include connecting patients and families to necessary resources and supports in the community; providing psychotherapy, supportive counseling, or grief counseling; or helping a patient to expand and strengthen their network of social supports.

Medical social workers typically work on an interdisciplinary team with professionals of other disciplines (such as medicine, nursing, physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapy, etc.)

The medical social workers job is to perform assessment with patients to assess for any physical, mental or emotional needs they assess the family support system and link the patient with service to help with care if needed.  Baresford, (2000) assistance with financial concern,such as not being able to afford medication or pay household bills.  Gould (2006) some social workers provide counselling to patients who are suffering from depression or who are having difficulty coping.  Ultimately, a social worker links and makes referrals to agencies to assist the patient with all of these services.  Butlerlan and Giverda (2004) in most cases, social worker can provide a great deal of assistance and support to help a patient cope emotionally and financially deals with illness.  In addition, healthcare staff also feel comforted when they know the social worker is going to help the patients because it means that they have fewer problems with the patient not getting necessary treatment.

Refugee Council (2005) social workers help educate and provide support to patients and their families.  Just like nurses, physicians and therapists, social workers are experts in their field.  One of the main benefits of a social worker is helping to be sure the patient knows what servicesare available.  This can help increase patient’s safety and increase the possibility that the patient will not return to the hospital.


The rate at which people are affected by mental illness is alarming in the world and Nigeria in particular (WHO, 2001), and at times the psychiatrist alone will not be able to manage the problems of most of the neurological patients.  Hence the role of social workers in psychiatric hospital is vital, to help diagnose the social problems of patients.  In recent years, evidence has shown that increase in mental disorder are attributed to social problems such as unemployment, divorce, retrenchment, addiction, religion, low standard of living, loss of parental love, lack of educational achievement etc.

Such a situation does concern all mental health and allied professionals, essentially of social worker practicing in mental health institution believes that mental health disorder are directly attributable to social problems that characterize society.


  1. To create awareness about how social workers work with patients and their families.
  2. To enlighten the public about how medical social worker assess the psycho social functioning of patients and their families.

iii.     To create awareness on how medical social worker counsel mental patients and their families.  And how social workers help to expand and strengthen the network of support to patients.

  1. To create awareness based on how social worker’s plan and conduct programmes to prevent substance abuse or improve health and counselling in community.
  2. To educate the public about how medical social worker’s intervene as advocate for patients to resolve emergency problem.
  3. To create awareness, formulate or co-ordinate programmes plan for treatment, care and rehabilitation of patients based on social worker experience and knowledge. Social Workers


This study will focus on the roles of a social worker in psychiatric hospital, Uselu, Benin City.  The focus will be the patients in Psychiatric Hospital, Uselu, Benin City. Psychiatric Hospital


The significance of this study is to create awareness on the importance of medical social worker towards promotion of psychological well being of individual, families and community.  It will also reveal how medical social workers work with other medical practitioners with the aim of finding resolution to patients’ problems, with intention to ameliorate or solve their problems. Psychiatric Hospital

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